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MODESTO, Calif. – Valley First Credit Union has literally breathed life into its preteen club Planet M with a life-size version of HANC. Taken from the main character of Liberty Marketing Services’ popular Planet M, eight-foot HANC (Human Assistant Network Communicator) has been busy on the road, making stops at local baseball games, county fairs and parades. “When we saw HANC, we thought how great it would be to have an actual character at different events in the community. What better way to educate the children?” said Anita Morphew, marketing director at Valley First CU. After about six weeks of working with a costume company, HANC was ready to be introduced during Planet M Youth Day and was quickly dispensing hugs, shaking hands and even boogied around the branch parking lot. “HANC really ties things together,” Robert Shepard, Liberty district representative, said. “They want people to associate HANC with the credit union, and it’s working pretty darn well.” The $186 million credit union has also tapped Liberty Marketing Services to launched boom!T for its teen members. “If you don’t target youth, they’re not going to know anything about a credit union when they get older,” said Morphew. “We must educate children so they know about credit unions, the benefits of credit union membership and the differences between credit unions and banks.” [email protected]

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